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jaclibra 2,633 Views

Joined Jul 21, '08. Posts: 23 (48% Liked) Likes: 16

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  • Mar 1

    Hello!
    I just wanted to briefly share my experience. I took the nclex on Thursday February 18th. I am in Pennsylvania.. Later that day I tried the pearson vue trick everyone talks about. I was able to get to the page where you fill in your credit card info and then hit next. The following page had the big red disclaimer at the top that my order wasn't processed until I hit submit which means I DIDNT get the good pop up saying that I couldn't register due to having a test already scheduled. (I didn't submit in fear of it processing and charging me the $200). I waited 24 hours and did the trick again on Friday, same thing- got all the way through all the screens to re-register. At this point I was sure I failed. My computer shut off at 130 questions and the last question I remember taking was one I was unsure of and was trying to make an educated guess.. I continually checked the pa state BON and no updates with my license. I prepared all weekend about how I would tell my boss and family that I did not pass.... Well, Monday came and my quick results were available. I honestly almost didn't even purchase them because I had done the pearson vue trick and checked the BON so many times, but something made me buy them... AND I PASSED! I couldn't believe it. The pearson vue trick is ABSOLUTELY NOT 100% accurate! Don't rely on this because it was wrong for me!! Hope this helps! Good Luck everyone!!!

  • Dec 2 '15

    You are all excited! You got the job interview! Now what? Relax, people! Here is an algorithm that you may want to consider.

    1-How to prepare for the interview.

    Follow RTC.

    Research the company,hospital,clinic. There is a ton of stuff online.

    • Look at patient surveys.
    • Always know their mission and vision and what is important to them.
    • Go to their website and read.
    • If you know people that work there talk to them . Find out what they like and don't like about the place, benefit,salary range,perks.
    • Find out what new initiative they are doing,awards or grants that they have received in the last five years.
    • Write notes on flash cards that you can carry.You should have a general idea about the company.

    Time-
    • Know when and where your interview is.
    • Find out about transportation-public or private parking .
    • Carry loose change and singles with you and a minimum of 20-40 dollars and a credit card.
    • Plan your route and give yourself 40 minutes extra especially if you are going on a peak or rush hour.
    • If you easily get lost, do a dry run during daytime and check out landmarks on the way (eg- make a left by Dunkin Donuts).
    • Be there a half hour early. You may have to fill forms, so have 2 black ballpoint pens handy.
    • Keep your original certificates and 4 copies of your resume in a file with clear plastic dividers. Keep a copy of all certificates to give them if asked.
    • Have a paper with the name, address,phone number and e mail of three professional references. If you are just out of school, your teachers or volunteering job or church could give you references. Make sure you let your references know to expect a phone call or email. Only give out name of people you trust as references.

    Care-
    • Choose your look carefully.
    • Buy or rent a suit. Iron them out if needed.
    • Wear clean socks,dress shoes.
    • Spray cologne/perfume sparingly.
    • Minimum bling.
    • Listen attentively and clarify by restating.
    • Remember the name and title of the interviewer(s).
    • Have a few prepared answers about sure questions-strengths, weakness, situations that you made better, tough situations, why should we hire you, what do you know about us, how to deal with coworker, when to ask for help or contact supervisor. Speak honestly.
    • Ask them more about the job and what is their expectation from the ideal candidate. Always have a few questions for them.
    • Show them that you are flexible. Inform them of any prescheduled vacation.
    • Know your resume well and be prepared to explain gaps. Never disrespect former employers. Nursing is a small world!
    • Ask what are the next steps when they are done with the interview. Never mention salary till they do.


    2-Got The Job! Now What?

    Follow RTC!

    Research-
    • Find out your schedule. What time is your shift? How does the weekend or off hour shift schedule run. Any on call shift?
    • How do you get paid? Swipe, palming in, phone in/out. How early/late can you come in/out?
    • What systems are in place for documentation? Do you have access to them?
    • What is a daily routine? Watch and learn how the team works and how to work as a team.
    • Find a good mentor and do not be afraid to learn.
    • Write stuff down. Commonly used phone numbers, code to the lounge, login information. Keep your information safe.

    Time-
    • Come in and out on time. If possible come a little earlier so you can get settled.
    • Relieve your coworker on time.
    • Do not call in sick during probation unless it is a real emergency. If you do, ask if you can make up the day. That shows that you are committed to this place.
    • Be at your post ready to work on time.

    Care-

    • Learn what you are taught. Write it and clarify it. Implement what you learned daily. Show that you are an independent worker but a team player.
    • Speak positive about people.
    • Dress and act professional. Wear your uniform. No long nails and visible tattoos and piercings.
    • Tie your hair neatly. Avoid multicolored hair!
    • Brush your teeth especially after twelve hours before getting ready for report!
    • Know how long you are on probation and ask for feedback from your preceptor and boss. Ask how else can I improve or what can I improve on?


    3-Passed probation. Now what?

    • Maintain your job.
    • Network. Get to know people. Do not back stab or gossip.
    • Study the job. Improve on your performance. Be a team player.
    • Dress professionally. Do not slack off.
    • Sign up for any online or classroom learning that they offer. Maintain your certification and licenses on time.
    • Ask for feedback and enjoy your job.
    • Be happy and always start and end your day with spiritual guidance from God.
    • Be grateful and thankful that you have a job and you can provide for your family and you with His Grace!
    • His Grace is sufficient for you!

  • Dec 2 '15

    I think there is also Critical Care Nursing training at Lung Center of the Philippines. Enrollment fee is 3,000php
    duration of training Didactic - 40 hours
    Practicum - 320 hours
    1 year experience as staff nurse is needed, except for those who undergo Basic Skills Training in their institution
    Please, verify it with LCP.

    By the way, trainings are very important if one is concern for skills advancement, especially if one is newly grad.
    And I disagree that training certificates are just mere papers. Why? Because upon your job application, these training certificates add points to the possibility of being hired, and therefor shouldn't be disregarded.

    For example, even an ER nurse with 2 years experience might still be required to have BLS, ACLS and/or IVT training when applying for an ER nurse position, and without the said training, application could be rejected.

    Training could also open an unexpected opportunity. Like in the case of my friend, who applied for MS ward/ER nurse position, but when the interviewer saw her training in Dialysis, she was offered the dialysis nurse position instead, which offered higher compensation than the former 2 positions.

    Most hospitals regularly conduct training for new/old staffs (whether they already have it or not) to abide with the protocols of their institution.
    You can observe this not only in US, but also in Philippines.
    One good example is St. Lukes ^_^

  • Oct 4 '15

    Table 1: Grading of Pitting Edema

    Method 1: Depth and Duration
    +1 = Mild edema (0"-1/4" indentation), disappears rapidly
    +2 = Moderate Pitting (1/4"-1/2" indentation), disappears in 10-15 seconds
    +3 = Severe Pitting (1/2" - 1" indentation), disappears in 1-2 minutes
    +4 = Severe Pitting (>1" indentation), may be present after 5 minutes


    Resources
    American College of Sports Medicine. (2006). Exercise Guidelines.

    Certo, C. (2001). Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Journal, 12(2), 39-45.

    Kindermann, M., Meyer, T., Kindermann, W., & Nickenig, G. (2003). Exercise training in heart failure. Herz, 28(2), 153-165.

  • Mar 29 '12

    A friend asked me recently, "Why do you do it? Why do you respond to disasters?"

    Great question! Often I have struggled to share how I feel about disaster relief and my role and what draws me back, time and time again.

    The question has haunted me since returning from my first disaster response in September of 2005 to East Biloxia, Mississippi after Hurriane Katrina, and again after multiple responses to the Gulf Coast after it was ravaged by hurricanes, after my return from Haiti after the earthquake and again after working in the cholera treatment centers, and now after my latest deployment to the Pendleton County, Kentucky area this March following the devastating tornadoes in the area.

    Others, of course, have tried to answer the question for me often using the words "crazy", "insane", "heroic", "an angel" and yet I don't feel any of those apply to "why do you do it?"

    Other's just ask more questions hoping to help me define it:

    "Is it the money?" Very few responses have been paid, some cover daily expenses, a few have provided financial compensation, but as my wife will tell you, by the time I replace the items (professional and personal) that I donate before I have left the disaster area I'm usually in the hole...

    "Is it the adrenalin?" No that only lasts a few hours...then comes exhaustion...

    "Is it the attention?" No, few ever know I was gone...except my family, close friends, an understanding boss, and my dog...

    "Is it the collection of shirts, vests, jackets, uniforms, name tags?" Not really (but some of them are really cool!), and they do bring back great memories...

    "Is it the chance to travel?" Have you ever slept on the ground or a mesquito net covered cot for two or three weeks eating MRE's three times a day...

    "Is it 'a calling'?" I'm not sure, I've just always felt it was the right thing to do...

    I do know that I have never felt it was about me. I have always felt it was about those whose daily lives have been touched by the disaster. With each response
    I have cried with them, laughed with them, listened to them. I have heard their stories. And each and every time I leave to return home, I feel the people I was sent to care for have given me far more than I gave them. And yet I still struggle to answer the question.

    Then last night a friend posted the following quote on Facebook:

    "We lose ourselves in the things we love. We find ourselves there too." Kristin Martz

    And now I know why I do it...thank you my friend...

  • Mar 29 '12

    I have been waiting to post this for a long time! I hope this information will help anyone looking for a job. Some background info - I graduated with high honors December 2011, got licensed February 15th. I had applied to a couple places before getting licensed, but did not seriously look for a job until I got my license. I must have done 20 applications, getting no response and/or rejection letters left and right. This is nothing compared to how many applications some of you have done, but nonetheless I was down and hard on myself because it seemed like most of my classmates have gotten jobs. I kept on thinking, what is wrong with me? I graduated almost near the top of my class! I volunteer! I (think) my resume and cover letter rocks! Then one day, I read a post on allnurses.com that absolutely changed my life ... I got a job!!!! BOO-YOW!

    In this post, the author details all the strategies they used to score six job offers, and they are not "conventional" methods. I learned that I must get out there and make something happen for myself because sending in the good ol' resume does NOT cut it anymore! Read the post because the strategies are outlined very well there. I will share with you how I personally used those strategies here.

    On the weekend of March 3rd and 4th, I went about getting information and sending out emails. The key is to contact the director of nursing (DON)/nursing supervisor/nurse manager of every unit in every hospital you want to work at.

    1. Search for Contacts

    I started out just searching for names and emails. Google became my best friend. This strategy works best when the hospital is well-known and has many publications on the internet. I got tons of information on the largest hospital in my state just by reading their annual nursing report, going back 5 years. Lots directors, supervisors, and managers were on there.

    2. Search for Names and Phone Number

    If I could not locate them on the internet, I would call the hospital switchboard and ask for the unit. I would ask the unit clerk, "Can I have your DON's name and phone number?" I didn't want to be transferred because the NAME was most important to finding their email address. Luckily the unit clerks often gave me the full name. Sometimes they would give me the first name and phone number. I didn't want to sound like a stalker, so I thanked them and carry on. I would call the number during lunch time on the weekends (none of the DON's were in their office!) so it would go straight to voicemail. The voicemail will say, "Hi, you've reached so and so..." Sometimes I had to call two or three times to make sure I got the right name. I would verify that this was indeed the right person by, again, Googling them. I got 90% of DON names this way. The large hospital was easy, the smaller facilities are a bit tricky. There was this one facility that only gave me the first name and the DON was sitting right there so she picked up the phone. I panicked and hung up! But don't think that was the end of that (ha!) I Googled her first name and the hospital name together. I did not get the DON's full name but I did find that my clinical instructor, with the same first name, works at that facility as a charge nurse. SUCCESS! I email her and ask her to forward my info to the DON. It helps that I was very successful in my clinicals and she basically turned into another reference for me.

    3. Search for Email

    Now that you have the DON/supervisor/manager's name, you need to find their email. This part can be tricky if you are not familiar with the organization's email system. With the well-known organization, it was a piece of cake because I knew how their email worked. For the ones I didn't know, I scoured their website to look at examples of emails. You can also google it. Some formats that I ran across for "Jane Doe": doej@hospital.org, doeja@hospital.org, jdoe@hospital.org, janedoe@hospital.org. Taking it one step further, you can use Verify Email Address Online - Free Email Verifier - Free Email Address Verification to verify your email. Keep in mind that this is not 100% accurate as it did give me a false negatives and positives.
    **If you have access to the hospital database, use it! I volunteered at a hospital and didn't think to get in there and look up the emails until after I had already done this detective work. I did verify the info I had with the database, however. It showed that my detective skills were ON POINT! Hehe.

    4. Contact by Email

    Once I had their email address, I wrote a short but precise email about how I'm interested in working for their hospital and unit. The format is almost like a cover letter. You must SELL yourself. I attached my cover letter, resume and a couple letters of recommendation. One thing to note about resumes is that I believe you should keep it to ONE PAGE. But that's just me.

    Remember, I did this on the weekend. On Monday, I received THREE replies! One said that she did not have a position open, however, the other two said they will work with the nurse recruiter and schedule an interview. I was too excited. Throughout the week, I got various replies, from "I suggest you to apply with HR" to "I anticipate an opening in the future and will keep you in mind". IMPORTANT: No matter the reply, you must send an email thanking them. You never know what they can do for you now or in the future. Then on Wednesday, I got the THREE calls from HR to schedule interviews. I scheduled two interviews that Friday and one the following Monday.

    It is so important to be prepared for your interview. Study the organization's vision, mission and values. Practice answering questions. Some questions I got were:

    1. Tell me about yourself.
    2. Strengths/weaknesses
    3. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
    4. What kind of patients do you like?
    5. Name some interventions you've carried out.
    6. I got scenarios of patients and how I would react. For example, you walk in to Mr. X's room and see him collapsed on the floor, what do you do?


    The most difficult questions are "Tell me a time when you..." You must study these questions beforehand because they are difficult to come up on the spot. Luckily they are quite predictable questions. One's I got are, tell me a time when you.... made a mistake, went above and beyond for a patient, have conflict with coworkers/classmates, how you manage stress. The key to this questions is to be positive. When you tell them the mistake you made, tell them how you learned from it and moved on. The worst is to tell them that you've never made a mistake. Be honest! Talk about your passion for nursing, how you are a patient advocate and will put them first.

    Come prepared with at least 10 questions. Asking questions show that you are beyond "interested in the job". You need to know if you would be a good fit for the organization and for the unit. My interviewers were very impressed at what questions I threw at them. Make sure you have the questions memorized, it does not look good when you have to glance down at your paper to read off the questions.

    Other interview tidbits is to be on time. I cannot stress this enough. If you are not familiar with the hospital, you must go there extra early. Parking and walking to the hospital/floor can take up quite a bit of time. You could even do a test drive the day before so that you are 100% sure where you will be the following day. Dress professionally and conservatively. I put my hair up, used minimal makeup, minimal jewelry (pearls), black pants, black blazer (this looks sharp on everyone), and 3" pumps (nothing more than 3 inch, seriously, wear those when you are going out, not at a job interview). I brought extra resume's in a black leather folder and left everything else in my car. After the interview, I wrote thank you letters to everyone that interviewed me. I wrote different letters to everyone on the same floor. You don't want to look lazy using the same message.

    Results

    I got "the call" on March 19th, two weeks from when I started contacting the DONs. I received two offers that day and another offer a couple of days later. I officially accepted an offer today and learned that it has a $3,000 sign on bonus. Say what?! I am so, so blessed. I don't know where I would be if I had not stumbled on that original post. I'd also like to add that I was turned down by a nursing home and home health position. I was praying every night that something would happen. This was my answer. I always had faith that God has a plan for me. I firmly believe I got turned down because there were better opportunities out there. God is good!

  • Feb 17 '12

    Came in to introduce myself to pt. I didn't notice someone left Foley open. Slipped and slid across the floor into their IV pole which fell over and ripped IV out of pts arm. So of course I tried to get up quickly and fell again. I felt like the biggest idiot ever and apolgize profusely. Pt was a good sport about IV and was more concerned that I might have brain damage. Hope they meant after the fall and not before

  • Feb 17 '12

    The tape "trick" is simply to use your finger to push the skin away from the tape while holding the tape instead of holding the skin and pulling the tape off. Or, if it's easier to think of it differently, removing the skin from the tape and not the tape from the skin. It feels better for the patient most of the time. Also, if they are hairy, you can wipe the tape and skin w/alcohol to break the adhesive down and not pull as much.

  • Feb 17 '12

    Well, at the risk of sounding Pollyann-ish and as though I am farting rainbows and skittles...

    I actually enjoyed being a nurse-aide, and usually enjoy being a nurse. Both are really hard jobs. My patients are generally a pleasure, so the odd stinker is a little easier to take. Some of them are slower than molasses running up hill, etc., some take 30 minutes to swallow their pills while others shot-gun 15 of them at a time. Prioritizing is the best thing I am learning.

    Now this last part - I'll just say, that if the shoe fits... I work VERY HARD to maintain a positive attitude because it is not something that comes naturally. But, I find that if I am smiling and pleasant then others are too (or at least I perceive them that way). In other words, I can't change anyone other than myself.

  • Feb 16 '12

    i worked 12hr day shift and then stayed over for 4 more hours. so I get off at 11 pm. I made sure I got everything by that time.

    Nurses who come relieving you should be there on time are they not? No they come in late around 1115. You give them time to fuss around and let their lazy asses settled so insensitive to others waiting on them to act like a nurse who means business. on top of that i noticed this charge nurse is really whiny instead of fixing the gadamm assignment.

    What I did, I rewrote my report sheet made sure everything is in there. And then at 1140 I couldn't take it anymore I handed it to them and told them very clearly it is 1140 it's time for me to go I couldnt keep my ride waiting any longer than 40 mins. And the nerve she told me in a very bossy way that she's done now and I could find the whoever the nurse was and start giving oral report.

    In my opinion I followed policy I waited 30 mins. And what gets to me is how others can be so insensitive but oh well .I am a very quiet person, when she told me that I went ballistic iinside i narrowed my eyes at her. And I guess they noticed it cause the other nurses came consoling. The charge nurse even tried to talk to me again, I just couldnt speak to her I was disgusted. So I left the report sheet to consoling nurses.

    I was disgusted. What I felt I think is justified. But I guess I'm still second guessing it because I'm a really kind of non-fussy tryna keep everything calm person dont wanna ruffle feathers. But i realized a lot of people are really gonna step all over you. even if you are tinsy bit nice. hhaha now i got it out of my chest thanks

  • Feb 16 '12

    (thanks Mr. Bowie for the thread title).

    Those of us in the nursing field for twenty or more years have seen many changes to our profession, not in knowledge or scope of practice per se, but in the actual process of delivering care. We have rolled with it and adapted.

    Until now. Somehow, this time it is different.

    There is a distant whiff of change in the air, an ominous yet unseen brewing storm on the horizon that we can smell, and we instinctually know this is not just another policy revision; not just another economic dip.

    There is a growing sense that nursing is being redefined as cheap, blue-collar labor, yes-men, and trained monkeydom. Especially floor nurses on the front lines.

    Even my latest issue of "The American Nurse" is greatly devoted to the future of nursing and nurses who have or are furthering their education in the (hinted- at undercurrent) context of Health Care Reform, ACO's and Bundling.

    Is education advancement enough? I listened to a flustered and overwhelmed hospitalist vent to me a few days ago, that they'd taken away half of the PA's effectively doubling her workload.

    I see MSN's working the floor.

    I see BSN's unable to find employment as a floor RN.

    I see my own department ripped to pieces and sold to the highest bidder.

    So, how many of you are rethinking your career path? If I was an Appliance RN (RN married to a high-earner and only needs a little income to buy the latest Cuisinart or a gym membership) I probably wouldn't bother.

    But as it is...I'm about to bother.

  • Feb 16 '12

    CONGRATULATIONS, YOU'RE JUST A NURSE

    JUST a nurse. I am JUST a nurse. No big deal, had I been more adventurous maybe I would have gone to medical school. These thoughts are the thoughts of many, including myself, which I have over heard for years, even prior to nursing school. It's actually sad when you think about it.

    Nursing recognized as a profession has gained it awareness in our current culture somewhat piggybacking off the Women's Right movement. Even though many nurses are now male, the stigma associated with nursing has its roots attached to a time when women, whom comprised nursing, were thought of as hysterical, at worst, and not equal to a man, at best. Doctors by contrast, predominantly male, has commanded respect and paid well for that respect for years.

    THE WORLD AS WE NOW KNOW IT

    The world of nursing as we currently know it is complicated by supposed "Staff shortages", high nursing to patient ratios, lack of documentation for nursing interventions, problems with compliance to "Core Measures" or other Joint Commission regulations, deficits in inventory charging, poor attitude, and lack of ambition in many situations. This in turn creates extremely high turnover, million dollars in lawsuits, millions of dollars on Core Measure fall outs, and loss of thousands of dollars in inventory, difficulty for managers to make safe staffing assignments.

    To combat many of these problems the nursing world has sought legislation to control nursing ratios at the detriment of no longer having nurses aids which help feed, bath, change bedding, toilet, and other similar tasks that take much time and attention. Their supposed rectification of the situation leads to more work for the nurses and a cut in positions for other healthcare members.

    A POSSIBLE ANSWER

    In a perfect world, which valued nursing similar to other types of therapists or physicians we would be able to bill patients for our services. This thought is nothing new and there are several reasons many have decided that right now this is not the answer.

    So what is the answer? To me it's exquisitely simple.

    It is common knowledge that a floor nurse is paid out of the room expense for the patient. But when considering the average room is at least $3000 and many times much higher and then multiplied by the five to eight patients the typical nurse must take care of its easy to see that $20- $30 dollars an hour is not much in the scheme of things.

    However, taking from a rare specialty in nursing which pays a base hourly rate plus one hundred dollars per patient a day I ask myself why isn't this extended to the rest of profession? If a nurse was paid based on acuity and that acuity was calculated by the end of the shift per patient based on documentation into a computer system with an algorithm (which already exists) then the nurse would be motivated to properly document, become more efficient, give the nurse the ability to control how many patients they wanted with the incentive to accept more patients per shift. In theory, this would increase positive outcomes for the patient, diminish lawsuits and fall outs over Core Measures, and increase compliance with Joint Commission standards.

    AN EXAMPLE

    Based on acuity a typical day might consist of a patient that is waiting for discharge at some point that day, has nothing really wrong with them and only needs some basic nursing care. For this patient the nurse might get paid $80 per shift, but since the patient leaves a little past the middle of the shift the nurse would likely be paid $50. The nurse then admits a patient whom is more acute. The patient is a direct admit patient and requires and IV to be started, a urinary catheter to be placed. The nurse is spending two hours getting this patient admitted, stabilized, calling doctors, making sure the patient is ready to go to various departments for diagnostic testing and based on all the nursing interventions this patient is fairly acute. For a whole shift with this acuity the pay to the nurse would be possibly $120, but since this patient came toward the end of the shift maybe the nurse is paid $60 considering the amount of time and interventions that this patient required. The rest of this nurse's patients consist of a patient with several wounds that need to be addressed, another patient with tracheostomy requiring hourly suctioning and tracheostomy cleaning. Another patient has a feeding tube and is trying to get out of bed frequently, but has dementia and is unable to walk. Another couple of patients are requiring blood transfusion and yet another patient is relatively stable, but not ready for discharge. Each of these patients would be a different acuity based on the algorithm the nurse would be reimbursed differently for each patient, depending on her documentation. Let's say this nurse on average makes around$100-$150 per patient for 12 hours, but this determination is based on 24 hour equivalents.

    For those nurses working in a procedural type arena, the pay reimbursement would be even simpler. The nurse would be paid based on a percentage of the cost for the procedure. I am not well versed in this type of nursing, so I wouldn't be able to extrapolate the price for different procedures, though that could also be taken into consideration.

    ADVOCATING FOR THE PROFESSION

    This type of pay reimbursement would give the power to the nurse to direct their own practice. A new nurse may only want to take 3- 5 patients that particular day, while a 20 year veteran might be able to handle 8 or 10 safely and efficiently. However, it would be the nurse's call based on where they felt comfortable and their pay would reflect this desire. The theory advocating for nursing control of practice would also not negatively penalize the nurse for taking more patients as the currently system does. If I get paid 'X' dollars an hour for the shift and it doesn't matter if I have three patients or ten, of course, I will opt for the latter. However, if I was going to get paid significantly more to take either a sicker patient or more stable patients I would be more enthusiastic about this assignment.

    IT'S NOT ABOUT THE MONEY

    The first critique to this work will be that this type of philosophy is money oriented. I bet the first person to even say this will be a nurse. As nurses we can sometime perpetuate the cycle of professional disregard. And while thinking I would love to live in a land where the most important thing was taking care of my patients and making sure they had the best hospital experience possible and my direct contribution mean they got better faster.

    Unfortunately, this current system does not cultivate this type of thinking and simply irradiates this type of idealism, disregarding it as a naive view point of a not-so-seasoned nurse. As much as each nurse may have come into this profession thinking they would make a world of change, reality is they are not given the tools needed for success.

    Nurses are currently given all the responsibility and none of the resources to give "nursing book" quality of care. Think of it this way, a physician get to say how many patients they will take and how much they will charge. Society accepts this, may grumble a little, but still puts up with this situation. This theory would put the power back on the nurse to decide how much he/she is able to safely take on for one shift.

    This theory is in no doubt a paradigm shift and it acknowledges that resistance will be met by hospital that does not want to lose profits. It is not asking that the patient pays more inherently. And to this end, when people will say it cannot done because of the price to be paid, I would say, then why isn't this an obstacle for other professions that may only see the patient for a few minutes each day.

    ~ Written by Melissa Main, RN 2012

    Feel free to share and comment. My ideas are fluid not set in stone.

  • Nov 28 '11

    I've never made a secret of the fact that I'm a sentimental sort, and never more than at this time of the year. So now that I've been doing this blog thing for awhile and my readers are probably expecting the annual essay on gratitude, far be it from me to disappoint.....even as I give you something a little new and different.

    Here, for your perusal, are ten things nurses can be thankful for:

    1) Having an indoor job.

    I don't care if it's 300 degrees in the building all year 'round; I am hound-dog happy to be able to work inside on the raw fall and winter days that make me long to become a Bahamas beach-bum bag lady. (How's that for alliteration?) Not being the hardy pioneer type, I find it rather pleasant indeed to watch snow falling from inside the blast-furnaces my residents call their rooms.

    2) A colorful and varied vocabulary.

    By colorful, I don't necessarily mean turning the air blue with profanity when I knock over a urine sample I'm trying to dip-test. I've learned to describe various bodily emissions as "a consistency like unbaked brownie mix" and "gelatinous reddish-purple blobs". And you know how the Eskimos are supposed to have so many different words for snow? Just ask a nurse how many ways there are to describe poop......only you won't get an exact answer, because they haven't all been invented yet.

    3) The opportunity to meet all sorts of interesting people.

    This requires little or no explanation for the seasoned healthcare professional. My mother used to say, "It takes all kinds to make a world." What I find myself asking sometimes is, "Why??"

    4) Plenty of continuing education.

    The end of nursing school is when the REAL edu-ma-cation begins. I can't begin to count the number of in-services, meetings, seminars, webinars, conferences, and classes I've attended in the course of my career......and sooooo many of them repeated annually until I could recite them in my sleep. I'm telling you, I can quote my facility's emergency management plan chapter and verse, including the parts about what to do if there is a terrorist attack (on an ALF in little ol' Oregon??) or a volcanic eruption. And no, "run like a rabbit" isn't among the recommended actions, even though that's probably what I WOULD do if a pack of wild-eyed commandos invaded my building, or if Mount Something-or-Other suddenly arose from the bowels of the earth to spew its wrath all over the lobby.

    5) Whatever else it is---good or bad---nursing is never boring.

    Maybe it's just because I'm getting old, but I've come to view boredom as a character defect rather than a condition; in other words, if I'm bored, it's because I've become boring and I need to go learn something new, do something new, BE something new. And in nursing, boredom can literally kill---a nurse who can find nothing new or interesting about her assigned patients may miss some vital symptom, some subtle change of condition, because she's "seen it all before". Not so.....and any nurse who thinks s/he has seen everything there is to see in her/his field ought to think about switching specialties.

    6) We have the privilege of collaborating with many other disciplines in meeting the needs of patients.

    Refer to #3.

    Actually, this is not a bad thing. Some of the most valuable bits of wisdom I've gleaned over the years have come from respiratory therapists, hospice social workers, and vascular surgeons. I appreciate the additional perspective that providers such as these can offer, especially in complex medical or psychosocial situations where I lack the expertise and the skill set required to manage challenging patients.

    7) No other profession gets to be so many things to so many people.

    Let's pat ourselves on the back here: Nurses ROCK. We pass meds, feed and bathe patients, deal with doctors, put up with families, draw labs, start IVs, insert catheters and other tubes into orifices where lesser mortals would never dare to go. But that's only part of what we do. We also answer multi-line phones at least half the time without hanging up on more than one caller......turn into Joe The Plumber when the toilet backs up in the middle of the night...know how to jury-rig the bed when the electrical thingie goes kaput....program the elderly patients' TV remotes......set up computers......perform search and rescue.......wait tables......clean up and sanitize patient care areas.....process other departments' work......know where to find the napkins. In fact, nurses are qualified to do EVERYTHING. Tres cool, huh?

    8) The pay ain't half bad.

    I still think becoming an RN was the smartest thing I ever did, at least financially, and that wasn't even the reason I did it. My family went from near-starvation to solidly middle class within a year. How awesome is that? And really, how many other things can you do with a two-year degree that enable you to pay all your bills and eat in the same month? Yes, I know there are a lot of unemployed new grads; a lot of unemployed (and underemployed) "used" nurses too. But for those of us who have been able to ride out this recession while working in our chosen profession, I think it's beneficial to remember that we're doing better than a lot of folks these days, and to be grateful for what we have.

    9) We're still some of the most-trusted professionals in America.

    R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me. As jaded as I've become in some ways, I still get a kick out of hearing people say, "You're a nurse? Oh, that's so wonderful....I could NEVER do what you do." I like having a job that not every Tessa, Dee, or Mary could do. Hey, I could never drive a school bus for a living, but how many people (besides this mother of four) will tell a poll taker how much they admire bus drivers?

    10) There is no substitute for human touch.....and there never will be.

    Need I say more?

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Oct 27 '11

    Hi everyone!
    First, let me apologize if there is a thread this should be attached to, and moderators feel free to move it as needed of course.

    I'm a new grad RN from Ohio and I just moved to Madison with my fiance who accepted a position with Epic. I had been searching for a job for a month after my license came through and was fearful of the dismal state of things in Madison for new grads. It seems to be a brick wall for new grads unless you get into the UWH Nurse Residency.

    I expanded my search for jobs and I have found quite a few openings that do not specify a need for prior experience with Mercy Health Systems in Janesville. They are expanding their Walworth and Janesville locations and seem to have enough of a need for nurses to include new RN's. As of tomorrow, I will have interviewed with four different departments and I received an offer from my first unit today for a full time position.

    I do not discuss wages normally, but HR at Mercy was very upfront with their salary calculator, so I thought I would share that they start at 24.75/hr and it scales with experience. When I started my job search, I wanted to know my competition's qualifications and what wage I should ask for - I've been candid with the wage and I will also share my qualifications. 1.5 years experience as a cardiovascular stepdown nurse tech with the Cleveland Clinic, 3.15 GPA, I was a class officer, and my clinical experience was widely varied.

    I won't call these "tips" as I feel very fortunate to have found a position and don't have a leg to stand on for telling other people what they should do to prepare, but I will share what I did. I took several hours to make a resume that stressed my tech experience and clinical experience. At the bottom was the fluff (honors/references upon request). My resume does not give career objectives, it is 1 page, and very concise. I gave cover letters to every single position I have applied for. I spent at least 12 hours preparing for the first couple interviews and I sent thank you letters to every single person I interviewed with (usually I interviewed with at least 2 people). In my interviews, I was asked very normal questions in any interview, not even an oddball question - I was hit with probably 1/20 of what I was prepared to answer and nobody asked *anything* about nursing skills, pathophysiology, medications, etc.

    I took the time to write this because I felt a sincere need to give back to this community - I used many of the forums on this website to prepare for my interviews. I also didn't see anybody posting about the opportunities with Mercy. Also, I really want to mention that for one of the positions I interviewed for, the RN Lead shared that 70 people had applied and she chose only 4-5 to interview. So if you don't get a bite, don't sweat it too much!

    I sincerely hope this helps someone and that nothing I said came across in a condescending way - I am someone who feels starved for raw information when I need an answer, so I am simply trying to put as much information as I can.

  • Oct 27 '11

    As ER Nurses, are you required to float to wherever in your hospital? I have never been asked to float because of the dynamic nature of the ER until I started working where I am now. (Sorry, not telling where!) Anyway, I have been tasked with presenting our arguement as an evidenced based research paper but I'm having a hard time finding studies where ER Nurses are not floated because of the nature of the ER. There are plenty of articles supporting the general idea of floating, but none that I've found generic to the ER. Can anyone send me any AJN, RN, ANA or any other journal article that proves why it isn't a prudent idea to short the ER for any reaon? I'm not opposed to floating as a matter of principle. I feel we are the front line Nurses and we should never be in a position where a life is at stake because we had to sit 1:1 with a suicidal patient (yes, we frequently are called to do just that). If I do a good enough job, I'll try to publish in AJN or wherever so all may see the light! lol.


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